May 24, 2018

Bulldogs down Braves 27-12 in Montezuma

Sophomore quarterback Emory Jones (#6) passed for 196 yards and a TD in Friday night's 2712 loss to the Bulldogs

Sophomore quarterback Emory Jones (#6) passed for 196 yards and a TD in Friday night’s 2712 loss to the Bulldogs

(Montezuma, GA) — The Braves varsity football team closed out a tough non-region schedule Friday night with a 27-12 loss to the Macon County Bulldogs on a soggy night in middle Georgia.

The Braves struggled to get anything going in the first quarter with the Bulldogs taking a quick 13-0 lead on two drives of 60 and 64 yards.

Early in the second quarter a defensive fumble recovery by Jaden Moreland led to a scoring opportunity in the red zone but the Braves would be turned away on downs after driving it all the way to the two yard line.

After the defense stiffened the Braves would again get the ball back deep in Bulldog territory at the 30-yard line. A holding penalty stalled that drive but a nice punt by senior Collin Nutt pinned the home team back at their own 3-yard line.

The defense held again forcing a Bulldog punt from the end zone giving the Braves the ball back with just 16.6 seconds to play in the half.

Trey Wiggins converted a 26-yard field goal to give the Braves some momentum trailing 13-3 at the break.

After the Braves’ opening drive of the second half stalled, the Bulldogs answered quickly with a long TD drive to take a 20-3 lead.

A penalty forced the Braves into a 3rd and 21 on the ensuing drive, but Emory Jones completed a nice 22-yard pass to Chandler Polk setting up the Braves again in Bulldog territory. However, the ball would again go over on downs to the Bulldogs.

A Mike Holmes interception in the end zone gave the Braves new life early in the fourth until another penalty pinned the offense back at the 4-yard line.

Jones connected with Dayvin Troy on the next pass play that resulted in a 75-yard play after a Bulldog face mask call during the play.

Jones then found one of his favorite targets Austin Miller on a 25-yard TD pass to close the gap to 20-10 with 8:29 to play.

Things got real interesting when Mike Holmes recovered a Wiggins onside kick at the Bulldog 47.

A couple of plays later, Jones found Jaden Moreland for a deep touchdown pass that came back on a holding call much to the chagrin of Brave fans. The Bulldogs would hold on defense and another quick drive made it 27-10.

The Braves appeared to have an interception for a TD by Quay Daniel but the officials ruled the play dead and awarded the Braves defense a safety instead. That would be all the scoring for the night.

Senior Austin Dean led the Braves on defense with 13 tackles and a partial sack.

Other tackling leaders included Jonta Gray with nine, Diamond Delgado with eight, Polk with eight, and Matt Brown and Daniel each with seven.

Offensively, the Bulldogs outgained the Braves 374-310. Jones passed for 196 yards on the night to lead the offensive attack. Six Braves carried the ball for a total of 122 yards on the ground.

Senior Austin Barron saw limited action returning from an ankle injury with 22 yards on four carries in the first half.

“We came out a little heavy-legged and we are going to have to do something different next week with our travel to keep our kids fresher and ready to play,” said Coach Tim Barron after the game.

“Other than that I thought once we settled down we played, we battled and I can’t say enough about our kids and their fight and effort. Right now we have just got to go back and look at the film like we do every week and see how we can get better next week. We are getting healthier but we are still not healthy — we just have to figure out a way to go out and get a win next week before our off week.”

Barron was especially pleased with the play of his sophomore quarterback in the second half.

“I was very pleased with Emory Jones late in that ball game because I crawled him a little bit early, but to see the way he went out there and responded — that’s a winning attitude,” said Barron.

With seven starting positions out Friday night, the Braves continue to rely on some younger guys filling in including freshmen Andrew Leak, Michael Cheney,and Kezman Kelley. Kelley did leave Friday’s game with a head injury and is questionable to return next week.

The Braves open the Region 5-AA schedule next week when they make another long road trip to Chattahoochee County. The Panthers are 1-3 on the season and loss 24-14 to Randolph-Clay Friday.

In other Region 5-AA action, Bremen defeated Stewart County 42-0, Temple knocked off Crawford County 24-20, Manchester drubbed Northeast Macon 40-10, and Bowdon was idle.

 

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